What Is Cloud Hosting? [Architecture, Benefits, Service Models]

The first step towards creating your website is providing hosting. Surely you have heard about web hosting, but today we’re going to talk about a more modernized and powerful hosting model – cloud hosting.

So, What Exactly Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses an interconnected network of virtual and physical servers to satisfy your hosting needs.

What makes cloud hosting rise above the competition is its ability to balance the load by dispersing data across multiple virtual servers (hence its name), ensuring that if a server fails, others can take on the work and make sure everything keeps running smoothly.

With traditional web hosting, this type of failure would (temporarily) shut down the whole operation and cost the website owner a lot of money. Every second a website is offline means potential lost revenue. Time is money.

Before we delve deeper, we need to know the basics – how does the cloud work?

In order for a cloud to work, there needs to be at least one server to which the user can send their data via the internet. This server then forwards that data to other servers in its cloud infrastructure. Everything you have uploaded to the cloud is stored in data centers that are housed in enormous warehouses owned by the providers of your cloud service of choice.

Unlike the traditional data that is stored close to you in your computer or phone, your cloud data can be stored anywhere in the world (depending on where your provider’s data centers are), but you can still access it in mere seconds. Neat, huh?

So, how does the cloud work? We would say quickly, efficiently, and safely.

Characteristics

In order to understand cloud hosting on a deeper level, let’s look through some of its main characteristics:

Maintenance

Modern cloud hosting is very easy to maintain regularly; you don’t need to have a tech background or any particular set of skills. You can check up on your hosting and adjust your scaling on a user-friendly dashboard.

Multitenancy

More than one person can share computing resources on a multi-tenant cloud, whether it’s private or public. However, the data for each user remains isolated from that of other users.

Performance

One of the greatest benefits of cloud hosting is its excellent performance. No matter whether your data is stored next door or on the other side of the world, the cloud server response time is immaculate.

Productivity

Cloud-based hosting can also increase productivity by lowering costs, increasing connectivity, and offering more features to smaller corporations.

Scalability

You are given the option to scale your resource usage up or down to match your current demand. This helps you prepare for more significant traffic surges and cut costs when there isn’t much traffic on your website.

Security

Even if the physical servers experience issues or damage, all of your data is secure on virtual servers.

Support

Most cloud hosting platforms offer 24/7 customer support, making sure they are available in case any issues arise with your website.

Service Models

Cloud computing service models gained popularity in the last few years as more and more businesses are choosing cloud hosting. In simple terms, the service models answer the question: what purpose is the cloud used for? Here is a brief explanation for all of them:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This computing service model hosts infrastructure on the cloud offering potential consumers virtual resources over the internet. It’s easily scalable and works as a pay-as-you-go model, meaning that you only pay for what you need and nothing more. This significantly reduces your expenses.

Its scalability also gives you the chance to quickly adapt to the changing business conditions and scale your resources up or down depending on the current demand. IaaS is easy to use, reliable, secure, and fast. It’s well adapted for beginners.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

As per its name, PaaS provides a platform for the creation of software, making it great for applications. It supports the whole process of application development, managing software updates, infrastructure, operating systems, and more.

This makes the job easier for developers and leaves their focus on building the software of the app. It also has many of the features of IaaS, such as scalability, a pay-as-you-go model, and, most notably, a high level of security. At the end of the day, what is hosting without protection?

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the most popular service model on our list. It makes it possible for applications to run on your browser without requiring downloading or installation. This makes it much easier for users as it saves them the valuable time they would spend downloading, installing, or updating apps, which now, with the help of SaaS, are available immediately on the internet. SaaS is great for applications that don’t get used often or those that need mobile and desktop access. We recommend it for startups and small businesses working with e-commerce.

Function as a Service (FaaS)

FaaS is a relatively new service model that asked the question, “what is the need for a cloud server?” and instead decided to use serverless architecture. Developers can deploy applications and run functions, getting charged only when that code gets executed. It’s also great for providing microservices.

Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)

MBaaS focuses on mobile backends, but some providers also support web applications. It provides operations such as database management, server hosting, social network APIs, and user management, leaving the developers to focus on other tasks.

Deployment Models

How does cloud hosting work, you might ask? Well, let’s start answering that by talking about the different deployment models.

Private Cloud

A private cloud’s infrastructure (both hardware and software) is dedicated only to one user. This cloud is usually hosted at the user’s data center, which is usually on-premises. It uses the same technologies as other types, including automation, management software, and virtualization. However, with great power comes great responsibility – the user of a private cloud is responsible for all expenses surrounding it.

Public Cloud

A public cloud’s services are offered by third-party sellers and can be purchased by anyone. The data is held by networked machines that are shared by multiple users, which significantly cuts down the costs. Users share resources but not disk space or processing power.

Hybrid Cloud

As its name suggests, a hybrid cloud combines a private cloud with a public cloud. But, how do both cloud servers work together? It’s simple – you put all of your sensitive and classified data on your private cloud, and all other data can go on a public cloud.

This is becoming an increasingly popular solution since it has the best of both worlds – guaranteed privacy from the private cloud and lower costs for the public cloud.

Cloud Hosting Architecture

Dedicated approach

Unlike a shared server which you share with other users, a dedicated server is meant to host only your website. A dedicated server can provide more security, increased speed for your website, and give you the option of managed hosting.

Centralized approach

With this approach, a single server hosts multiple websites and handles all processing. It’s efficient, cost-effective, and consistent. However, if the central server fails, it disrupts the workflow of the website.

Private Cloud vs Public Cloud

Before you start googling “how to set up a cloud server” think carefully about which type of cloud hosting better suits your situation – private or public.

A private cloud follows a single-tenant model, meaning that only one hosting account’s data can be stored on it. A public cloud’s multi-tenant model allows multiple users to share the servers’ resources.

Having a private cloud has its benefits, such as increased security level, full control of any hardware/software decisions, isolated resources, and customization. However, this all comes at a higher cost.

A public cloud is the more cost-effective option of the two because it’s shared hosting with other websites, which means you’re also sharing the cloud infrastructure costs. Even though the private cloud lacks the level of security and control of a private one, the benefits of public cloud hosting are: increased scalability, more versatility, and quicker access to the latest technologies.

A good compromise between the two types would be a hybrid cloud which is gaining popularity in the past few years.

What Is Hyperscale Cloud Hosting?

Hyperscale cloud hosting provides a platform that can support a large number of users. Tech giants Google, Amazon, and Microsoft provide the largest amount of cloud computing in the world, so their cloud services are referred to as Hyperscale Cloud.

With Hyperscale, servers are networked horizontally to achieve optimal scalability. Besides scalability, Hyperscale hosting also offers better speed, simple and easy management, and reduced downtime losses. It’s an excellent choice for large businesses and organizations that need stronger computing power.

What Is Managed Cloud Hosting?

Managed cloud hosting is similar to regular cloud hosting but way easier. Why is that? Well, the goal of managed service providers is to adjust your hosting plans according to your individual needs. Their service focuses on the maintenance and supervision of all operations. They even monitor the data centers where your information is hosted and have strategies in case of disasters. Having managed cloud hosting saves you time and energy, leaving you to focus on more pressing issues.

What Is Green Cloud Hosting?

Usually, the adjective “green” refers to eco-friendliness, and this is no exception. Data centers have an environmental impact through their resources and the waste they accumulate while hosting data. Since the demand for cloud computing is ever-growing and shows no signs of slowing down, it’s crucial that hosting platforms focus on renewable energy and lessening their carbon footprint.

The green cloud hosting initiative focuses heavily on sustainability and finding environmentally-friendly hosting solutions while still providing the best possible hosting services for their customers.

Benefits of Cloud Hosting

If you’re not yet convinced if transferring to cloud hosting is right, maybe its list of benefits will change your mind:

Easy-to-use

Most cloud hosting platforms provide you with a user-friendly dashboard to monitor your website’s performance in real-time. Besides observing, you can also make some tweaks, such as adjusting the scale of your server resources.

Flexibility

Cloud hosting is very customizable and flexible. You don’t have to choose from pre-selected packages, but you can adjust different aspects, such as dedicated server space, processing power, security, OS, and architecture.

Pay-as-you-go

If you asked us what the best thing is about cloud-based hosting, we would probably say this. With cloud hosting, you only pay for what you use, leaving no room for financial loss if traffic is slower and making it easy to scale up if you expect more traffic.

Redundancy

With cloud hosting, your website doesn’t have to live on a single server, making it vulnerable in case something happens to it. If your hosting is redundant, a back-up server will immediately take your website, and you won’t suffer any damages due to server malfunction.

Better uptime

This is connected to our last point. Your website will remain up even if the server malfunctions – another server will take on the job.

Fast setup

Compared to traditional hosting, cloud hosting’s setup process is much faster.

Wrap Up

So, what is cloud-based hosting? We’ll tell you – it’s the future of hosting. Whether you’re just planning to start a website and don’t know where to begin, or you have experience but are looking at your hosting options, we recommend cloud hosting. If you don’t believe us, believe the numbers – 90% of companies are on the cloud. So, hop online and find the best cloud hosting platform for yourself.

FAQ

What is cloud hosting and how does it work?

Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses an interconnected network of virtual and physical servers to satisfy your hosting needs to all extents. Your data is uploaded to virtual servers and is available to you immediately, no matter the proximity of the data centers.

What are the benefits of cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting has many benefits, but some of the most prominent ones are that it’s easy to use, flexible, excellent uptime, a fast setup process, a pay-as-you-go payment model, and scalability. It’s also more secure and widespread compared to traditional web hosting.

What is the downside of cloud hosting?

Even though cloud hosting has a plethora of benefits, it’s not perfect and has some downsides as well. The main downside of cloud hosting is the price – you definitely need to break the bank, especially if you want to choose a reputable provider. This is also important for your data security since cloud servers are also susceptible to hacking and data breaches.

ABOUT AUTHOR

My eyes rarely take a break from staring at my laptop's screen—I am Big Brother, scanning the web for news and information worth sharing. Full transparency—a substantial chunk of my screentime is also dedicated to watching TV shows, but balance is key, right? Writing is how I choose to share my findings with the world while keeping my love of language and creativity alive.

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